Naval Air: The Ultimate Challenge for Software


June 9, 2007: Last month, the U.S. Navy successfully completed another test of its UAV carrier landing software. This time, the software was installed in a two-seater F-18F. The software was allowed to get the aircraft to within 420 feet of the carrier deck, at which point a pilot took over and aborted the landing. The software has been tested, in a UAV, landing on a carrier sized airfield. But landing on a carrier at sea is a much more complex piece of work. The testing required for an actual robotic carrier landing will take another few years. UAVs and aircraft have been landing completely under software control for over a decade. But doing a software controlled landing on an aircraft carrier is the ultimate challenge for automatic landing software.




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